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Hard work starts now - Williams


Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams is ready for a summer of sweat and toil with Wales as he pursues a possible dream double - playing in his fourth World Cup and collecting 100 caps.

The 35-year-old flanker is up and running after securing a place in Wales coach Warren Gatland's 45-man World Cup training squad. But he accepts the hard work starts now - via two training camps in Poland and three World Cup warm-up Tests - before Gatland culls 15 players ahead of departure to New Zealand on August 31.

"There is a long summer of training ahead and three pre-World Cup games, so I suppose the slate is clean for everyone," said Williams, who helped the Barbarians beat Wales 31-28 at the Millennium Stadium.

Given that Williams was not required during Wales' recent RBS 6 Nations campaign after being overtaken in the openside pecking order by his Cardiff Blues colleague Sam Warburton, it is safe to say the chips are down.

"I am not going to lie - it was a blow missing out on the Six Nations squad because I played well in the autumn (Tests) when I was given the opportunity. It's one of those things. You have to take it on the chin and move on. It was more frustrating than disappointing.

"In all likelihood, they will probably only take one openside to the World Cup. There are so many boys who can play at six and seven, so we will have to see what happens."

The World Cup apart - Williams was part of Wales' last three campaigns in 1999, 2003 and 2007 - he currently stands just two appearances short of joining Gareth Thomas and Stephen Jones as his country's third cap centurion.

"To get 100 caps would be the ultimate for me, but if I don't, I don't. I would have taken one cap," he added. "I look at it as the glass being half-full. I've had a great career, and if I manage to get two more caps, then happy days.

"I think Warren has been spot on in what he has said. He doesn't want to dish out the caps, he wants me to earn them, and I totally agree with him.

"When you are 35 and you have played the amount of rugby I have, you are not going to be as sharp as what you used to be, but I've been happy all season. My form has been pretty good."

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